Sharing Village Journeys

A Family’s Testimony: The Big Wave

deboma1My family lives in the town of Botolan, province of Zambales situated in the coast of a little north of West Philippines Sea. We frequent the sea during Sundays in summer for swimming and for some sea breeze when kids including me have coughs and colds. Sometimes we go there during Sabbaths to catch the beautiful sunset.

During rainy season, it is not advisable to swim because of the big waves that might overwhelm you and can pull you away from the shore by undercurrent waves. Numerous stories of people drowning in that sea where bodies were found in the neighboring towns serve as warning for those attempting to have a swim during rainy season.

It was November 6, 2016 when my sons Stephen 13, Juan 12, Shadrac 7 and Luke, 4 and I agreed to go for a swim by the sea as all of us have coughs and colds. My wife Ann did not come with us as she was finishing a school project for Shadrac.

It’s been a while that we had a swim because every time we go to the sea after a rainy  day or night, big waves greet us.

So as we arrived by the coast, everyone got excited as the waves are not that big. We also saw three kids swimming maybe of the age of Juan. It is a kind of a go signal for us to take a splash in the waters.

I held Luke and Shadrac in a close distance to us in the shallow part and the two older boys looking for some bigger waves went towards the deeper part. I constantly yelled at them not to go farther as they might be overwhelmed by the waves especially when they are at the deeper part. Everyone was enjoying the waters and the waves that are hitting our bodies. As everyone was having fun, I noticed but ignored that there is a kind of a pull to the deeper part after a wave passed.

At one time, Luke and I were by the seashore and my three sons were still swimming at the same distance as the three boys we met when we arrived. Again I yelled at them to come closer by the shore.

After some time, the three unknown boys approached me and one of them said “Uncle, I think they are drowning, they are in a deep part and they cannot move!” Immediately I gave them Luke asking them to take him further from the shore and not allow him to come near the waters. Then I rushed to my sons to the deeper part of the sea, repeatedly uttering to myself, “Father help us!”

At first I saw my three kids in one place, but as I was approaching at about 5 meters from them, I saw Juan slowly drifting away from Stephen and Shadrac to the deeper part. I doubled my effort to overcome the waves so I can be with Stephen and Shadrac. They were holding each other, and as I reached them, I grabbed Shadrac and pushed him to the shallower part so his feet could reach the sand and walk towards the shore. Free of holding Shadrac, Stephen was also able to move for the shallower part.

Although still struggling, thinking now that their chances of going to the shore for their safety have increased, I gave back Shadrac to Stephen so I could go for Juan. As waves and the pulls are getting stronger, remembering the incident where Jesus Christ was in a boat with His disciples and He calmed the sea, I prayed “Father God, you can calm this, please calm the sea!”

As I was about to face the direction of the deeper part to go to Juan, I saw a big wave approaching, with a little disappointment on my  part because I already hoped that God would immediately calm the sea after my prayer, I again uttered “ In Jesus Name, please make this stop!”

I decided to go floating style face-up, thinking that the size of the wave might overpower me and jeopardize my rescue attempt for Juan.

As the big wave passed me over, lo and behold, I was in the shallow part, Stephen and Shadrac shallower, and Juan at the shallowest and was ahead from all of us! We were able to walk safely to the shore, thanked the boys who took care of Luke, headed straight to our home and were thanking God endlessly for His miraculous deliverance!

I can’t help but shed a tear every time I recall this incident, how God is true to His promises of not leaving us nor forsaking us in times of trouble just by calling on His mighty Name. “For He shall give his angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11).

And so “….As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”(Joshua 24.15) forever!

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